The memories of an old god (A prologue to the coming story)
| I am called Fallankros. I was a god, one of many. I was but a single part of what a human would call a pantheon. Another cog in the deific machine that had been our temple of gods. I belonged to the highest ranks of our pantheon, I, an Elder God, had infinitely more strength than a human. The influence we held over all was almost unfair, if not for the fact that we were the ones that wielded such power, we might have thought it entirely unfair. The strength to destroy a universe with but a thought.|
But then he rose, the one the dark ones worship. The one they call "The Lord". The one true god. He tore from us our strength like we were mere children clutching to the pant leg that was our power. He took it, and hid it away. The Usurper, he who had gained all our former influence for himself, banished us, ripped us from our heavenly pedestal and forced us into exile. The Outlands, the land of the dark ones. A brutal place of infinite suffering. A land of unbidden shadow. A land where the slightest mistake could lead to the finding of the sacred ashes a deific being leaves behind after a few hours of decay.
He has let them in, let them through our sacred walls. They rampage through our divine halls. They destroy all that was holy in the name of their greed. In its place, only a dark silhouette of an empire. Its former glory torn asunder. Our Ohlm is lost to us.
The Usurper does not contain the light, our light. The light that permeated throughout the multiverse. He cannot control it, he has tainted it, made it dark. Dark Energy, that is the name we have taken to calling it. Dark Energy, it is boundless, formless, a thing unseen to the human eye. It rids those it touches of their inhibitions. It was one of the greatest threats in the final war we waged against him. It turned us on one another. Like animals, we tore into each other. We destroyed ourselves from the inside out. By the time he arrived, we were but a mere shadow of what our armies used to be. He pillaged, tortured, and slaughtered all that stood in his way.
We never did figure out how he did it, The Usurper, how he gained such raw, pure, and unbridled power. We remain helpless against him. We are a rotting corpse of what used to be a great empire. A kingdom, founded on one purpose. To protect our playthings, the ones we called humans. They, who were created in our image, who were gifted our ingenuity and intellect still remain as toys to him, The Usurper.
We do so miss our toys, the humans. Oh, we do miss them so. They, in all their delicate grandeur were what kept us sane for the few millennia they have existed. Their trivial wars were what sparked what little joy we had left in ruling over an endless multiverse.
He has corrupted us, tainted us. We feel not passion or love. We know only hatred. A whirlwind of memories, inescapable, horrible, but comforting all at once. Memories that replay in our minds over and over. A cacophony of dread and hysteria, but also hope that we may yet be released from our torment.
A memory, a fragment of what I used to be, it comes to me time and again. A battle, our final battle. The end of it all, or perhaps, the beginning...
A bolt of pure energy scorches the ground next to me as I sprint towards my salvation, our guiding light. "Malak!" I scream, but he does not hear me. My cries are silenced by the sounds of war. "Malak! We must break their ranks! They overpower us!" I scream once again. "Yes, I can see that. The dark ones' energy is corrupting us faster than we kill them." Malak responds, looking over the scene.
I turn to my left, just in time to see a soldier, a low rank god, sliced clean in half by the long claw-like arm of a dark one. Entrails spill from his corpse, revealing to us the blackened insides of the former soldier. "Damn things, they'll be the death of us all." claims a high ranked officer to the right of Malak. "They just might." I respond, but it came out as but a whisper.
The dark ones, in all their might, continue their assault. A voice, distant and faint, but intelligible, screams "Die damn you! Why won't you die!?" before drawing out in a long scream that suddenly cuts off. He has died, poor soul. "Fallankros, they are breaking through our defences! We can't hold them!" screams a commander before falling to the ground, dead. "He's been cursed! Stay back, we don't know what they've done to him" I shout, backing away from the the former commander. A gas spills from the corpse's eyes. Screams echo from within the gas, the departed commander's anguish making itself known through the gases echoes. "The Screams of The Fallen" I recall. "This spell. It has been lost for millennia. How is it here?" I wonder aloud, still backing away from the from the echoing gas. "We do not have time for this!" Yells Malak, turning to get away from the foul spell.
A winged dark one barrels through the air towards us, towards Malak. "No!" I scream, shooting a bolt of energy at the creature before jumping in the way of the horrid being. It hurts. It hurts more than anything I've ever felt. is the last thought I have before falling unconscious.
I awaken, not to singing and the shouts of triumph, but to the crackling of fire, the croak of a soldier, choking on their own blood; the howl of a dark one in the distance, rampaging inside our holy borders. I try to stand, but I cannot, my legs, they aren't there. I put my hand out, reaching for the ground before me, to claw my way back to our divine halls. I put my hand on something. I look, to see our leader, our beacon of light in our darkest hour, laying before me, torn apart by the savage beasts. I scream, not of pain, but of fear and anguish. We have failed, we have lost. Something hears my screams, the shrieks and groans of the dark ones surround me. They are hunting me. They hunger for my living flesh, for my wails of agony as they mangle my body. I desperately claw on the ground, moving a few feet each time. But it is useless, I cannot outrun them.
They have located me, I am surrounded by the foul beings. I can see the hunger in their eyes, they want me, they want to see me scream, they want for my flesh, they wish to see their darkest desires fulfilled.
"Do not touch this one." A voice commands, the beasts part as a shaded being glides past them on living shadow. I call to him. The hooded god floats towards me. "You should not have been so quick to dismiss these beautiful creatures." says the dark figure. "They can do great things, when guided by the right mind" he taunts, pulling down the hood. "It can't be." I whisper, in disbelief. "You should be dead, torn apart by these savages." I add. The Dark Lord, The Usurper, looks back at me. "They found me, broken and feeble. I am reborn, remade, not as the fragile ruler of a now dead empire, but the all-powerful ruler of all things." snickers the Dark Lord. "But you... How, how have you done this?" I demand. "It tortures you doesn't it, the knowledge that you have lost, that you can do nothing to stop me any longer. That you have no idea how I did it. Look behind you, look to your kingdom." And I did.
Our empire, our Ohlm, ruined, pillaged; stands before me, a shadow of its former self. The highest of towers, collapsed; the citizens, slaughtered; the dark ones, feeding on the remains of the recently departed. It is an empire no more. "It's magnificent, isn't it?" muses the Dark Lord. "It was so hard getting the image just right, but it was all worth it to see your expression right now, you, who cast me out, look so crushed." cackles the Dark Lord.
"Pick him up, put him with the rest of them..." The Dark Lord commands "and clean his wounds, wouldn't want him to die before the fun can begin." The memory fades out, I can remember no more, then the memory starts again.
It was some time before I managed to free myself, so much time in a forced-coma can do that. "Come Fallankros, we are almost there." whispers my fellow inmate, and best friend, Philia. She was dirtied, but she was still just as beautiful as the day I met her. "Yes, I'm coming." I whisper back, making my way across the hallway towards her.
We make our way out of the hallway, silently creep past the gods converted by Dark Energy, and make our way toward the exit. "Philia, come on, the door is right there." I whisper, but I hear nothing. "Philia?" I turn, a convert holds Philia in the air by her neck. She stares at me, a single tear streams down her face. "Run!" she screams, and I do. I run, just as I make it out, I hear a scream and a loud bang. Philia is dead.
I run, and run, the shrieks of the dark ones echo off the trees behind me, they chase, intent on catching their next meal. I have little left. It is hopeless, I cannot escape. I come to a large tree, a hole - just big enough to fit me - rests in the middle of its firm bark. I enter quickly and use my magic to close it behind me.
I sit there for hours, waiting to be found. This is hopeless, there is nothing I can do... The humans. I immediately begin casting my spell. Magic weaves itself into existence, surrounding me in its comforting glow. Shrieks echo around me, they have detected my magic. They tear through the tree, its feeble body not enough against the beasts' strength. They lacerate my body, tear into me, open me up and expose my fleshy insides for all to see. I continue my spell, I cannot stop.
A bright light consumes everything, the foul creatures hiss at the light, but they can do nothing. A pillar, pure white, pierces through the skies, and into the heavens. My duty is done, I fall asleep, never to wake again.
The Dark Energy, it continues its rampage throughout our kingdom, our empire. It devours, destroys, tarnishes, ravages. It does not contain our will anymore. It continues our kingdom's expansion, infinitely and indefinitely. Soon, there will be no kingdom. In his boundless hunger for power, he has doomed us all. We in all our wisdom, were unable to prevent our downfall, our own fall from glory. Former kings, of an empire no longer.
I have used the last of my strength to cast upon humanity a blessing. Prophets are rising, people are having visions of the coming war. Heroes will rise among the humans, they contain our remaining light. Strike first or The Usurper will bring the war to humanity. He has his armies, his horde of dark beings. They hunger. They know not compassion. They will rip limb from limb, ligament from ligament until there is nothing left.
He has dominion over all. He will twist the brightest of souls. Turn them against you, turn them on their former allies. It will be an arduous trial, a war of despair and death. There will be many a time where it will feel better to give in, to submit, and forget your formerly happy lives. You, humans, who have been created in our image, humanity are our last hope, our last bastion of faith. Free us from our chains, so that we may once again defend against the darkness in your stead.